by James Nayler (from his 9th Epistle)
The foundation of community is truthfulness and love. Seeking for the Seed in each other is as crucial as seeking it in the world, and laboring by long-suffering and resoluteness to liberate it wherever it is oppressed. – Brian Drayton [ed. note: This is the inward expression of the outward struggle which Nayler calls “The Lamb’s War”.]
Children of God, seek a kingdom in you, that flesh and blood strive not for, nor cannot enter therein, a kingdom undefiled, and that fadeth not away, hid from that which feeds on earthly things, a heavenly kingdom bearing heavenly fruits; wherein the heavenly spirit rules, guides, and brings forth fruits of itself: the fruits of grace and meekness, and of a lowly mind, the fruits of peace and gentleness, and forbearance among yourselves.
Wait with patience to feel that quickened, which is sown in tears, and springs up with joy, out of the sight of the natural understanding, that that alone may bear you, and therein all your fruit may be found, and so come to the knowledge of the tree by its fruits. And let the life open the understanding (not the notion, or a sight) that is the heavenly learning of Christ Jesus the righteous, full of grace and truth…
A tree may grow high, and hard, and strong, yet fruitless and out of the power, got above the poor, above the innocent, and out of the feeling of the sufferer and man of sorrows where he is. The end of this growth is not in the pure rest, for the higher any one grows here, the more doth that wither and die in them, which is soft and tender, and melting, which makes one [a true lamb] and is the true fold for lambs, where the lions must lie down in the end if they come to rest. That eye…which looks to be great among men comes not into the rest, but hath strife in the mind, strife in words and secret smitings, which defile the rest, and lead into the division and separation — but the little child leads into the rest, and that which is lowly gives the entrance.
So feel that which is lowly and meek to arise above self, that which stills all strife at home in your minds, and gives peace in temptation and tribulation. That’s a soft and tender thing in you, that is the peace-maker, that’s blest of God. And this is first felt under the world, under the strife, suffering by the strife in patience, to bring to the end of the strife and the world, and in the end of it, and of [all] exaltation he comes to arise over the world, who is not of a striving nature, but lives by hope, and believes to see to the end of all things under which he suffers, and to outlive every temptation by suffering. And so by an everlasting life [he] comes over the world, and to reign over all things that are not of that eternal nature — but not to join with the evil.
And he that in the particular is born of this, hath overcome the world in himself, and knows how to walk towards his brother in that which hath power over the world and outlives all…[One living with this life] brings forth its own undefiled, ever aiming in all its ministrations at the kingdom of truth, peace, and holiness, which is the end of all gifts and callings.
And this seed all should know…who strives not by violence, but entreats; who seeks not revenge, but endures all contradictions from all against himself, to the end that he may obtain mercy for all from the father. And this is the seed of eternal peace, and the eternal peace-maker…
So this seek in yourselves, and all men, and in it seek one another as brethren; nor can any reign in this kingdom but [those] who can bear the cross which leads to the crown, and hath a habitation in that which cannot be moved with change, nor kindled with wrath.
This is the heritage of the meek, and the kingdom which only belongs to the poor in spirit and pure in heart, where the hardness of heart is broken. Many spirits desire to look into it, but few to live the life of it…